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The Landings of Caesar in Britain 55 and 54 BC Deal Beach in Kent This shoreline near Walmer Castle is probably in the area where Julius Caesar and his troops landed during the two Roman excursions to Britain of 55 and 54 BC In the distance the cliffs of Dover may be seen to the south The beach is made up of small stones or shingles Caesar the historian In 58 BC Julius Caesar became governor and military commander of the Roman province of Gaul which included modern France Belgium and portions of Switzerland Holland and Germany west of the Rhine For the next eight years Caesar led military campaigns involving both the Roman legions and tribes in Gaul who were often competing among themselves The story has been preserved in Caesars account Commentaries on the Gallic Wars originally published in 50 BC In the first century BC Britain was settled by Iron Age societies many with long-term roots in Britain and others closely tied to tribes of northern France fig2 Commerce was flourishing populations were relatively large and at least seven different British tribes had their own coinages Tribes in southwest Britain and Wales controlled considerable mineral wealth in tin deposits and copper mines For this period Caesar is the only extant source providing first-hand descriptions of Britain His observations while confined to the southeast areas of Kent and the lower Thames are thus essential to understanding those regions While no doubt self-serving in a political sense when written Caesars account is nevertheless regarded as basically accurate and historically reliable both by earlier scholars such as C Rice Holmes 1907 and by todays authorities including Sheppard Frere 1987 Both the 55 and 54 BC Roman expeditions left from Boulogne Portus Itius and landed at Deal a few miles northeast of Dover In 55 BC the Roman cavalry ships were forced
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